Subject: Lusa: Portuguese Peacekeepers Provide Falintil Multi-Disciplinary Courses

East Timor: Portuguese Peacekeepers Provide Falintil Multi-Disciplinary Courses 31 Jul-14:16

Portuguese peacekeepers began training East Timor's former Falintil guerrillas Monday in a multifaceted program, involving first aid, public hygiene, computer use, map reading, military ethics and international law, among other disciplines.

Administered at the Maubisse base, some 60 kms south of Dili, the program, with an initial attendance of 77 Falintil members, is expected to last about six weeks, the commander of the Portuguese peacekeeping contingent, Col. Lima Pinto, told Lusa.

The Falintil members attend the program unarmed and receive no military training.

Lima Pinto said responsibility for the training program had fallen to the Portuguese because they were in charge of the territory's central sector where Falintil's five companies are in cantonment at Aileu.

The program, which in future could include courses such as nursing and carpentry, was launched, he added, at the request of Falintil commanders and with the approval of the UN administration.

The future status and role of the Falintil guerrillas have yet to be officially determined.

But the National Council of Timorese Resistance has indicated it would like the former guerrillas to serve as the nucleus of the territory's future defense forces.

SAS -Lusa-

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